ACEN pursuing pumped hydro project in Australia | Inquirer Business

ACEN pursuing pumped hydro project in Australia

ACEN Corp., the listed energy platform of the Ayala Group, is planning to undertake a pumped hydro project in Australia as it continues to build up its renewable energy (RE) footprint here and abroad.

ACEN Australia Pty Ltd., the platform representing ACEN’s RE assets in Australia, is the project proponent of the 800-megawatt (MW) Phoenix Pumped Hydro Project, which will provide large amounts of energy storage good for 12 hours.


Situated within New South Wales’ Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone, the storage project will offer energy storage solutions to support several nearby wind and solar assets.

“The project will have purpose built, off-stream, upper and lower storage reservoirs connected by a tunnel or pipeline to a powerhouse containing pump-turbine units,” according to ACEN Australia’s website.


If found viable, the firm intends to commence construction in 2025 and stage the project’s commercial run before 2030.

“Renewable energy is rapidly moving ahead in Australia. Storing energy for later use is critical to embedding it into a reliable national electricity supply,” said ACEN.

The storage facility already secured funding worth 7 million Australian dollars (P263.9 million) to determine if it can support New South Wales’ energy security, help replace retiring coal-fired generation capacity, and support the NSW government’s RE objectives.

The funding came from Energy Corporation of NSW (EnergyCo) under its Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program.

The project, which is also being supported by WaterNSW’s Renewable Energy and Storage Program, is aligned with NSW’s target of at least 2 gigawatts (GW) of new long duration storage by 2030.

“This project has the potential to facilitate more renewable projects in the Central West Orana region and provide valuable firming services in NSW. Phoenix Pumped Hydro will be bidding for Long-Term Energy Services Agreements for long-duration storage under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard,” ACEN Australia CEO Anton Rohner said.

“Our focus is on ensuring that we develop a project that offers the right mix of benefits and opportunities for the region and the state of New South Wales. We’ll be calling for inputs from community and stakeholders soon to help shape the project,” added Rohner.


The pumped storage project will help ACEN attain its target of 20 GW of renewable capacity by 2030 and become the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia.

“These funds will help deliver the valuable renewable energy firming capacity needed and we commend the New South Wales government for supporting such exceptional technologies,” ACEN International CEO Patrice Clausse said.

Currently, ACEN Australia has more than 1.5 GW of projects under construction or at an advanced stage of development such as the New England Solar, New England Battery, Stubbo Solar, and Valley of the Winds projects in the NSW New England and Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zones.

Likewise, it is developing Robbins Island and Jim’s Plain Wind and North East Wind in Tasmania.

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TAGS: Acen, Australia, hydropower
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